The End Is Nigh

christmas-eve-stirling-signing                                                              THE END IS NIGH

AS I write this blog I now have just one final signing of my WHSmith ‘The Shift’ Scottish signing tour left, in my home city of Stirling, tomorrow, Christmas Eve, 11am to 3pm.

It is amazing to think that I’ve travelled 1400 miles in racking up 996 book sales and now have only four left to break the I000 mark for the tour…not a bad return!

But what I really enjoy about getting out and about is meeting people and I have met some very interesting individuals on my travels…believe me!

In Aberdeen three weeks back I was assailed by an elderly lady who told me she could not buy my books because they would be full of profanity!

I assured her any such profanity was realistic and not just for the sake of it and showed her the inside cover of ‘The Shift’, which has a picture of my next book ‘The Blood Acre’, the title of which I explained to the lady was taken from ‘The Good Book’.

She subsequently admitted that the story behind this was indeed fascinating but then boomed back at me that there was still: “No way will I be buying your book young man!” and swept of regally.

In East Kilbride I was on the end of a verbal volley from a young lady who was a little bit too full of the seasonal Christmas cheer and claimed that I had told her I was a councillor when she had approached me for the first time half an hour earlier!

When I assured her that was not the case and that I was only a humble author she then explained that she had partaken of some liquid festive cheer before we had first met and then sought further refreshment before returning for a second bite at the cherry.

With yours truly left speechless she told me that she would indeed but a copy of ‘The Shift’ and demanded a personalised message for her troubles!

Yesterday in Hamilton I wished a man ‘Happy Christmas’ and was met by a tirade about how “insensitive” l was as his wife had just died…

Oh yes and I’ve also been accused of being a “typical ex-cop who thinks he knows it all”!!!

Yet it has been an overwhelmingly positive experience to meet and talk with so many book lovers and I hope that when people all over Scotland open up their Christmas presents and discover a copy of ‘The Shift’ in the wrapping they will enjoy becoming immersed in Thoroughgood’s 1989 and enjoy a read that will acquaint them with characters, locations and a world of betrayal, heartbreak and revenge that will have them coming back for The Blood Acre when it comes out next April/May.

So there we go the end is nigh but really it is just the beginning…I hope!

A very happy Christmas and all the very best for 2017 to everyone out there whom I have met all over Scotland and especially to those who bought my books and those who have supported all my efforts from behind the scenes!!!



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AS anyone who follows me on social media will now know I have been lucky enough to make the final of The People’s Book Prize which will take place in London’s mythical Stationers’ Hall at the end of May, 2017.

For me this is a moment of real satisfaction as it has come at the second time of asking after my second novel ‘The Hurting’ was nominated in the autumn collection back in 2012 but failed to make the final.

Clearly there are lots of people I owe a special vote of thanks to in helping me get there, not least of all Andy & Caroline at my publishers McNidder&Grace, who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to help promote The Shift and shown real belief in my work.

Secondly to WH Smith and particular their Central Scotland stores director Garry Torrance, who gave me the platform in my home city of Stirling and then on successive Scottish signing tours to engage with the great Scottish reading public and increase the profile of The Shift to such a level that I will now be able to fulfil a long held ambition of mine, which is to meet the literary colossus that is Frederick Forsyth CBE when he hosts the final.

But most of all I must also thank everyone who took the time to vote for me, you have made an old man very happy!!

Euphoric as I may have been yesterday the elation of the moment had well and truly worn off when I returned to my writing desk at 0604am this morning to start work on the final five chapters of The Blood Acre, the follow up to The Shift, which is due out April/May 2017!

I am really pleased with the way the first draft MS has evolved, and consider that with 89,000 words written, some of the sequences in The Blood Acre are on a level higher than I have written before.

Time will tell if you agree with me, but I can say that my ‘expert reader’ Mr Les Truman, very much agrees with me on that as I head into the final furlong….good job there are no fences left to jump then!

Looking ahead to December I am now entering the most ambitious and challenging month of my writing career with seven book signings in just 24 days of the final month of the year.

That all starts in WH Smith St Nicholas Centre, Aberdeen tomorrow at 11am with a 12pm start at Perth WH Smith on Sunday to follow and ends back at Stirling WH Smith on Christmas Eve with an 11am start.

Rest assured I will be tweeting and Facebooking on my adventures spanning the length and breadth of Scotland as Thoroughgood and I hit the road.

Hope to see you out there!



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